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      California organizations pioneer ‘immersive’ caregiver training program

      Excerpt of the article California organizations pioneer ‘immersive’ caregiver training program by Adam Healy, originally published on McKnights Home Care, February 14, 2024.

      Aging care education firm Embodied Labs, in partnership with nonprofit Front Porch Center for Innovation and Wellbeing (FPCIW), announced an innovative, free solution to train home care workers.

      “Through immersive experiences, formal and informal caregivers can embody the perspectives and conditions of other people, gaining a unique understanding not found in traditional training tools,” Davis Park, vice president of FPCIW, said in a statement.

      These experiences include a library of courses — available in both English and Spanish — that cover skills such as caring for patients with dementia, managing hearing or vision loss, handling care transitions and more. The courses are designed to support virtual reality technology, giving caregivers a “first person perspective” of conducting home care duties.

      Embodied Labs and FPCIW aim to support as many as 5,000 family caregivers and 500 direct care workers from a variety of backgrounds, including home care aides, care coordinators and case managers, dementia specialists, transportation providers, certified nursing assistants and more, according to a release. As a bonus, the training platform gives direct care workers the opportunity to take additional courses to receive up to $6,000 in incentive payments from CalGrows, the California Department of Aging’s program to support and train caregivers.

      “It can bring people together and improve lives,” Kari Olson, president of FPCIW, noted. “Embodied Labs is using the power of VR and immersive storytelling to help caregivers, family members, staff, and students see the world through the eyes of the people they care for and care about.” 

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